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The Age of X Dialogues Part Three — X-Men Legacy #246

Welcome back to two of your favorite Comics Should be Good bloggers geeking out over alternate reality X-Men fun! “The Age of X Dialogues” where Kelly Thompson and I discuss every issue of the “Age of X” storyline. We continue this week with X-Men Legacy #246.

Chad Nevett: Things are getting more exciting in “Age of X” with X-Men Legacy #246! The hunt for Legacy/Reaper was surprisingly better than I thought it would be and had one hell of an ending. I’m not sure what’s going on anymore — not that I knew to begin with. But, this issue seemed like one where Mike Carey purposefully took what we knew and tossed some it aside, shifting gears a bit, while still continuing on from where he began. Something has begun and it’s up to the two most changed X-Men (and, from what we know, the two soon to be at odds) to figure out what’s wrong… I don’t know, for an issue that was one big chase scene, I really enjoyed this. Enough of my vague allusions, what did you think?

Kelly Thompson: Yeah, this was my favorite issue yet, by far. I was worried that you’d be put off by some of what I am still loving (more Legacy/Rogue!) so I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed it as well. So far we’ve got an interesting thing happening, where what’s really going on has still not been revealed and so we’re still guessing and hypothesizing, but it doesn’t feel like it’s spinning its wheels pointlessly. Rather, I feel we’re being driven at a breakneck pace (is it possible to have breakneck but enjoyable?) toward answers and I’m loving it. We’re getting these great hints that I feel confident more and more with each issue are going to deliver big time. I’ll also say that, though I stand by my opinion of the first issue (Age of X Alpha #1) and the feelings I had about wishing the conflict was more clear from go, Carey has made it patently obvious why more clarity going in wouldn’t have worked for this particular story. The crux of the story is in fact “where are we?” and “why are we?” and “how are we?” and as I said before, so long as he can deliver that, then I’m with him.

I agree that this issue was a chase/hunt issue, which could have felt like shiny pretty tasteless filler, but instead did two of my favorite things in comics. First – one of my favorite things in superhero stories – which is to use character superpowers in interesting and new ways. Secondly – one of my favorite things in alternate reality stories – which is turn relationships on their ear but in smart believable ways.

To that end, I confess my lil’ 16 year-old fangirl heart went pitter-pat when Remy came to Legacy’s (Rogue’s) aid.

CN: That made my eyes roll… until Magneto killed them both. I’m one of those people who hate the whole Rogue/Gambit thing, so Carey paying it a little lip service before just dropping a pile of wreckage atop them made me laugh. I probably won’t be lucky enough to have their deaths carry over into the regular Marvel universe, will I?

Magneto here came off as both ‘sinister’ in a way and as a man who’s been backed into a corner. It’s like he’s watched slowly as everything he tried to build has become twisted and all he can do is continue to fight for it, because the alternative is to admit that he failed. It’s an interesting take on the character. The way that X runs things and the focus on the Force Warriors in the way Moira talks to Magneto gives the impression of a man who’s slowly lost his power and place at the center of things. As the ‘general,’ we’ve only really seen him direct traffic and get talked down to by Danger. The way he deals with matters in this issue seems like he’s reminding everyone that he built Fortress X and he’s still the major power. There are some shades of previous depictions of Magneto there while remaining distinct enough. His final bits of narration are so sad: “If I ever had a nobler dream — a wider ambition… / I threw it into the fire… / and watched it burn.” This is a guy who hates what’s created and has no choice but to stand by it.

And I’m wondering how much more of that we’ll get. I would love it if Magneto is shunted to the side again, that his sadness and failure remain a small piece of the overall picture. The smash cut to Logan and Basilisk preparing to pick up where Legacy left off makes for a good juxtaposition as we see an unhappy Magneto who has accomplished what he always wanted, to be the mutant savior/leader, and found it wanting put up against the two mutants who have been gone from the top to the bottom in many ways.

KT: Everyone mark it down all official like, Chad Nevett never ever possessed a lil’ 16 year-old fangirl heart! Although the action and the end of the issue does suggest Legacy and Gambit are dead, the preview cover art for New Mutants #23 is of a very not-dead Legacy and Magneto…so…are we SURE she’s dead? That said, it would hold with Carey’s claim that the focus was going to shift off of Legacy, so I suspect she is. I hate misleading cover art!

I agree that the take on Magneto is really good…a great skew for an alternate reality character that’s both compelling and believable. I also really liked that Magneto narration you quoted, in fact I think throughout this was really well-written, with no obvious missteps that threw us like last time. There were a few places where I felt genuinely moved by Carey’s writing, which I’m sorry to say happens far too infrequently for me in comics these days.

I too loved seeing Logan and Scott together, they’re a great team-up for me, full of potential. That’s such a complicated relationship in the existing reality that there are a lot of great places Carey can go with it. Probably my favorite mini-reveal of the issue was Logan’s comment about “everyone knows there’s no mutant powers can affect the mind”. That was just such a great line, after seeing Xavier and Emma and The Cukoos all trussed up in the basement last issue. I love that shit.

CN: Logan’s line confirms something that we’ve seen alluded to with all of the telepaths in Danger’s prison: as far as most of the mutants are concerned, there is no such thing as a telepath. So, what’s going on then? It’s a clue that raises more questions than it answers. Is one telepath responsible for this reality and, to keep it from being revealed as a sham, has imprisoned the rest? Is it the work of a non-telepath that needs telepaths locked away so they can’t break the illusion? Or, is there simply something about this world that makes telepaths unstable and dangerous, requiring that they be locked away? There are some interesting possibilities, none that seem more likely than the others. It’s something that Carey has done very well: given the sense that the story is advancing by providing information, but also providing information that just raises more questions. We’re three issues in and it feels like things have advanced a lot and, yet, we still have no idea what’s going on. I’m impressed he’s been able to walk that line.

We didn’t discuss the art a whole lot last time. I enjoy Clay Mann’s work here, but it doesn’t do a lot for me either. It has that generic quality to it where things look fine, but very little stays with me. If I try to think about the art, I have a generic impression of what it looks like and very few lasting images. The only thing that sticks with me is Magneto’s helmet, which is all kinds of awesome.

KT: I definitely agree about Carey’s nice turn walking the line by introducing new questions as he provides us with information that seemingly answers others. I hate it when a story only drives forward with more and more mysteries and never seems to take the time to address any mysteries that we’ve already encountered. I don’t need everything answered right away of course, but I like to be discovering interesting answers while new questions are raised, rather than the kind of “Lost effect” where we just get more and more questions and no answers. I kind of have this problem with Morning Glories actually…even though I like it. Anyway, yes, I agree that Carey is balancing the questions and answers nicely. I’m impressed.

I’m a BIG Clay Mann fan. I like his art more every time I see it. I can see why it wouldn’t necessarily blow you away, but reliable, consistent artwork with clear easy to follow, well-paced storytelling, and good character work that is respectful of character personality is surprisingly rare. So when I see someone doing all of that at once, I’m pretty sold, and if it can be this pretty at the same time, all the better! Additionally, at a time when some X-artists are tarting up the ladies of X with alarming regularity (even ladies of X that are not named Emma Frost) I have to admit that Mann’s handling of female characters really pleases me – which doesn’t mean they don’t look sexy and strong – they do, but they also look really accurate to who I believe they are as characters. It certainly doesn’t hurt that I love the way he draws Rogue. As a side note, I’ve always hated Dazzler and yet Mann’s redesign of her for this is really intriguing to me, and I finally found myself wishing we’d see a little more of her. Of course if Carey writes her like everyone else seems to then I’ll probably still hate her, but at least I’ll enjoy looking at her!

CN: I do enjoy the art, it’s just not the sort to stay with me.

Is there anything else left to discuss with this issue? Every time I think about that final scene, I can’t wait for the next chapter of this story, which is in two weeks and, then, Age of X Universe #1 drops the following week. I still very curious to see how that title plays out, but Carey has finally made me care more about the main plot than the chance to see new alternate reality characters in the form of the Avengers (a franchise I like a lot more than the X-Men). So, that’s an accomplishment in and of itself.

KT: Yeah, agreed 100%. I don’t think I really have anything else to add, except to say that the more I think about this issue the more I like it. In fact, I would say it’s easily one of the best X-books I’ve read in the past year. I’m excited for New Mutants #23 in two weeks.

30 Comments

When rogue healed quickly from her wound, do you think that alludes to wolverine getting his powers back?

@Alan: I definitely took it that way.

If only Mike Carey had written on Lost.

About Rouge and Gambit’s death – Sure Rogue can heal, but what we also don’t know is what other mutants lay in the field. I mean, who’s to say the Vanisher didn’t just appear and get them out of here?

The fact that we have every mutant BACK, from Vanisher to Chamber, anything can really go with this story. Given how well Carey has written this entire mystery thus far, every issue is just as exciting as the last.

Ahhh!

[…] Head on over to CSBG for another installment of The Age of X Dialogues with myself and fellow blogger Chad Nevett.  Our exploration of Mike Carey’s AGE OF X crossover, continues this week it with a discussion of X-Men Legacy #246. […]

I will be disappointed if Legacy and Gambit survive.

I think their “death” was ambiguous enough to go either way at this point. I’d like to see them survive, I like that it seems like the “alternate reality” can’t overcome the character’s true natures. At this point I’m most interested in what’s going on with Scott and Logan (of course, as they were the big cliffhanger) and the Force Warriors, specifically Leigion. He was the catalyst for the original AoA and has considerable power, I wonder if he may not be central to what’s going on.

I agree that the art is a bit workman-like, but I apreciate the clarity and easy-to-follow layouts and flow. Personally, my favorite part about the art is the coloring, which adds a lot of style to the rather standard penciling style.

I bet Magneto didn’t really kill them- he’s just trapped them in the rubble so he can snaked in and have a chat. He’s probably starting to realize that something is wrong with this reality.

Rogue/Gambit are cute. I’m convinced you have to have a heart of tin to hate them.

It’s a HUGE tip-off that the mutants all seem to have their same physicality. Anole, for example, has one lumpy arm; Hellion is missing both of his; Mirage doesn’t employ any mutant powers; Karma has one artificial leg. If this were truly an alternate reality, we could expect some divergence in the accidents that led to those physical problems.

My guess: They’re still the same people, but acting within an artificial reality construct.

Rogue healing was probably from taking Anole’s powers. He does regenerate.

Legion had a hell of a crazy mindscape back in the New Mutants when he debut. And he absorbed whole psyches of others. That’s what I think is happening, maybe not with Legion, but with Xavier’s mind.

No spoilers here. These are all guesses based on what we know so far but, I’m starting to think that Age of X isn’t an alternate reality story after all. The pictures were blank because there isn’t anything on the the other side of the force wall. All of the telepaths have been taken out so no one would notice that there aren’t any active brains out there. I think X has rewritten all of there memories and corrupted Danger.

Also, if this is an alternate reality, how did danger come into existence as they never seemed to have befriended the Shi’ar and borrowed their technology that caused the danger room to gain sentience?

Mike Carey is awesome! He’s blowing me away with Age of X. Heck, he’s been blowing me away since his taking over X-Men starting with the Children of the Vault arc five plus years ago. Carey should be allowed to helm the X-books. He earned it.

Oh, one more thing…. Chad and Kelly, great discussion, as usual! Thanks.

I wish we had some sort of villain or ticking clock or sense of the bigger world of the story. It’s a bit too much “this super cool world that we’re only just being introduced to is some sort of elaborate fake” right from the start. But I agree, each issue is pretty compelling. I’m surprised at how much I’m enjoying it — especially as I look to DC, gearing up to do their own massive alternate universe story, and I absolutely can’t imagine picking it up. Mike Carey, you’re definitely doing a lot of things right.

a spoiler alert would have been fantastic.
thanks.

I think that Magneto has returned to form and is the villian (or one of the villians) in this X-over.

“It’s a HUGE tip-off that the mutants all seem to have their same physicality. Anole, for example, has one lumpy arm; Hellion is missing both of his; Mirage doesn’t employ any mutant powers; Karma has one artificial leg. If this were truly an alternate reality, we could expect some divergence in the accidents that led to those physical problems.

My guess: They’re still the same people, but acting within an artificial reality construct.”

– Thank-you. Good to know not only one thinking that.

“Rogue healing was probably from taking Anole’s powers. He does regenerate.”

– Rouge/Reaper/Legacy left her glove in Logan’s bar, meaning she could of easily touched him. (Then there’s the fact he is kown as Logan, the name given to him by Weapon +.)

“The pictures were blank because there isn’t anything on the the other side of the force wall. All of the telepaths have been taken out so no one would notice that there aren’t any active brains out there. I think X has rewritten all of there memories and corrupted Danger. ”

– I agree with the pictures, but myself thought the telepaths were being used to run the Age of X “universe”.

Legion – Did nobody else read New Mutants 21!?! Now, here he is, not only home, but almost the AoX of a superstar (As he helps build the wall, that seems to be blank on the other side). Then there’s the “Smash” it comment. Legion was involved with a certain crystal (& the AoA) as well…

(PS – Am I the only one wondering who “X” is? (That everyone talks to).

Maybe X is Cerebro! Mike Carey is bringing him back as a love interest for Danger.

a spoiler alert would have been fantastic.
thanks.

It’s a discussion of the comic… what did you expect? That the discussion is happening at all is your spoiler alert.

Rogue did have Domino’s powers Right? How dont we know if her and Gambit somw how survived due to random probabilty? What I also dont understand is the whole “No Telepath thing”. Jean (or Phoenix) have telepathy, Legion has telepathy and So does Psylocke, so whats stopping them from using their telepathy or why arent they telepaths? And is Dani Moonstar A telepath? I was confused to as if she was really re-powered.

I wouldn’t mind seeing some non-X-Men mutants in this, like Justice, Firestar, Cloak, and Dagger. Maybe they’ll be in AGE OF X UNIVERSE?

Davey Dave Dave

March 14, 2011 at 5:17 am

Well if Legacy still had Domino’s powers going she could very well still be alive but trapped in the rubble. Luck and regenerative powers taken from Logan.

odds are Rogue survived since we know she has healing and time manipulation powers confermed and she could have gained teleportation from a previous mutant. Gambit is dead…

“My guess: They’re still the same people, but acting within an artificial reality construct.”

I also thought of that, because of the same reasons (Hellion, Karma, etc…, and neither have mutants who lost the powers in House of M with their powers resotored) but then I thought: are there any dead people from the regular universe in AofX? Nightcrawler for instance was refered as dead also, what a coincidence… And, correct me if i’m wrong, but only got Moira. So, any “dead” could be part of the artificial reality, but there aren’t many and the fact that:
a) Legion is a kind of a happy super-celebritiy and is Xavier’s son
b) The only dead character back is Moira who was related to Xavier

The only thik it makes me think is that it doesnt’ has sense yet that “Fake Moira” plays David’s stepmom. He had a real one and she died (Gabrielle Heller)… continuity concept hole or perhaps everything is around Xavier and not Legion… uhm…

Sympa ce blog américain de dialogue x…

Mirage isn’t exactly a telepath, except with certain animal types. She has displayed empathic powers though. She was the only one of her team that hasn’t used her mutant powers as yet, which is strangely suspicious… yet Jubilee was there and doesn’t seem vampiric or anything. So not everything is exactly the same.

Wondering if the “Phoenix” character of the Force Warriors is Jean or Hope. She’ been very background which seems a missed opportunity.

I’m excited because of the mystery behind wolverine and cyclops!

i love the story line and the art of x-men legacy. Really got me hooked!

I’m wondering when we’re going to get a closer view of the Phoenix. Like, is it Jean Grey or someone else like Rachel Summers? I would assume Jean, but it’s a little off, since we all know her powers can “affect minds”, at least in the normal 616 continuity.

Then my other quandry is with Legion. Could Magneto not wanting the “Force Warriors” (Sounds like Vader’s skate board gang) be that he doesn’t want Legion to find out his pops is locked in the cellar? And does he know who his parents are?

I do think that Magneto is being set up to look like the bad guy, but is as much a pawn as the rest.

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